Lazy January Lemon Moon Cake

I adore winter. And I wish this Danish winter would kick itself into gear and get going. We haven’t had a real winter here since 2012 – 2013. I want to build snowmen, throw snowballs and go flying down a hill in the park at top speed. I want to see the harbour freeze in front of my window. I love the changing seasons because each one has its own special charm, its own magic. Winter is crisp and clear; the world being washed clean as another year begins.

These grey days are just blah. It’s only -1C outside. Call that cold?!

But since the day is grey and the birthday party we were meant to go to was cancelled, what was supposed to be an afternoon bake turned into a late morning spent in front of the mixing bowl. Which meant that it was ready in time for afternoon tea. (Which in this home is basically any tea drunk after 12 p.m. – usually anywhere between two and four cups.)

I got this recipe from one of Claus Meyer’s cookbooks. I first borrowed it from the library many years ago and spent a weekend locked in the kitchen with it while my son and his best friend turned our apartment into a LEGO landfill. After that weekend it was always on loan whenever I tried to take it out again, so when it was on offer during the annual book sale (yes, we have that here!) I knew I had to get it.

This is a sophisticated take on the traditional Danish cake Citronmåne – Lemon Moon.

You will need: lemon moon cake citronmåne

  • 125g marzipan (at least 60% almonds)
  • 200g butter at room temperature
  • 200g sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod (scrape out the seeds)
  • 2 lemons
  • 5 eggs
  • 125g flour
  • 80g potato flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 125g icing sugar

Roughly grate the marzipan. Mix it together with the butter, sugar and seeds from the vanilla pod. Grate the lemons and add the zest. Add the juice from one of the lemons and mix it all together. Add the eggs one at a time. (It didn’t say to mix after each egg but I assumed that was implied and it worked well for me.) Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl and mix gently until you have a homogenous batter.

Use a springform cake tin where the bottom is lined with greaseproof paper. Light coat the sides with butter and dust with sugar. Bake in the middle of the oven at 175C. The recipe says 45 minutes but my kickass new oven (definitely a non-annoying aspect of my American kitchen) had it ready after 30.

Make the icing by adding the juice of the last lemon to the icing sugar. It’s not thick icing – it’s just meant to lightly coat it. Cover it while the cake is still warm so it will soak into the top.

The normal Citronmåne is half-moon shaped and quite honestly taste nothing like this one. Making it solved the mystery of why there had been potato flour in my cupboard when we’d moved home to Copenhagen. That had really been bugging me, I never use potato flour for anything. My mother tried using it to make pancakes once when we ran out of normal flour. They went boing and tasted like rubber. Cannot recommend.

I realised once it was ready that I really miss baking cakes. There have been so many cookies, muffins and brownies lately. I can’t even remember the last time I just baked a cake. I think I’ll have to go for my grandmother’s chocolate cake next week. But for now I’ll have some Lemon Moon Cake and get back to my editing.

Have a great Sunday!


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